The Georgia Department of Transportation has begun an outreach program to educate voters statewide about Senate Resolution 821, which was approved during the General Assembly’s session earlier this year.

The measure allows residents to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give state legislators the authority to allow GDOT to enter into multi-year construction agreements.

Currently, the department is required to have all the funds in hand when a multi-year project contract is signed.

An investigation last year uncovered that the accounting practice was already in use at GDOT, which used cash flow to pay for its total construction program, effectively enabling it to have multi-year financial obligations.

However, state auditors said there was no provision in Georgia law to use that methodology and GDOT should have sought a change in the constitution or legislation before using it.

Concern was also expressed about whether the constitutional violation might affect Georgia’s triple-A ratings.

The department is not authorized to sell debt, but it receives various bond proceeds from grant anticipation revenue vehicle bonds, or Garvees, and state-issued general obligation bonds.

GDOT has launched an information website at www.dot.ga.gov/informationcenter/publicinformation/Pages/SR821.aspx.

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